© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Paul OConnell of Chez Henris in Cambridge serves this rustic dish, which is Cuban with a strong Spanish influence. Its piquant with peppers, tomatoes, capers, and spices. Do not be put off by the ingredient list: The dish is easy and uncomplicated to make while full of flavor.
8 pounds oxtail, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 inch segments
2 cups finely chopped onions
2 cups finely chopped carrots
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup diced green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
2 bay leaves
¼ cup rinsed capers
3 cups canned tomatoes with their juice
4 cups beef stock
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
6 slices garlic toast
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Put the oxtail in a high-sided roasting pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turning it once. Remove it from the oven and pour off the rendered fat. Distribute all the vegetables and spices — including the cumin, coriander seed, bay leaves, and capers — around the oxtail. Pour the tomatoes and beef stock over the oxtail with enough water to cover. Place in the hot oven for 1 hour. Check every 15 to 20 minutes and stir with a spoon to break up any crust that forms (add water if it seems dry). After 1 hour reduce the heat to 350°F and continue cooking until the oxtail is done, about 1 hour more. Pull one large piece of oxtail to check for doneness — The meat should fall from the bone. Remove the oxtail from the sauce and skim off as much fat as you can. Let the oxtail cool and chill overnight in a container, covered with the sauce. When cold, remove the layer of solidified fat on the surface. To serve, slowly reheat the oxtail in the sauce and stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve the oxtail in bowls, the sauce spooned over it, with garlic toast and sprigs of fresh cilantro.